The following program is continually being updated. Details will be added as they are confirmed.
|Sunday, January 23|
|12:30 – 5:00pm||Info Booth Open and Delegation Meetings|
|Monday, January 24|
|8:15 – 8:25am||Welcome, O Canada|
|8:25 – 9:10am||Opening Keynote: How Municipalities Can and Should Work with Indigenous Peoples, Chief Perry Bellegarde, Former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
Chief Perry Bellegarde has dedicated his life to championing the rights and well-being of First Nations. For 35 years, he has held various First Nations leadership roles, including two terms served as the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). Chief Bellegarde believes passionately that at the heart of the original Treaty relationship sits a vision of peace and friendship that is the key to building a better and brighter future for Canada.
A member of Little Black Bear First Nation, Chief Bellegarde credits the wisdom shared by the First Nations Elders of Saskatchewan for instilling in him a deep sense of pride in his culture, as well as a lasting conviction that Indigenous knowledge and values are crucial to building a more just and inclusive society. He describes himself as an oskâpêwis, a Cree word meaning “helper”, and he believes this understanding of the role and responsibilities of a leader applies to many walks of life.
Chief Bellegarde has championed that vision through all his leadership roles. As National Chief, Chief Bellegarde campaigned tirelessly to close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and other families in Canada. He led the AFN through a period of profound transformation in public awareness of First Nations concerns and priorities. Critical accomplishments include the passage of Canada’s first national legislation recognizing and protecting Indigenous languages, much needed changes in how government services in First Nations communities are funded, and securing a legal commitment to national implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In recognition of his work, Chief Bellegarde has been awarded the Confederation Medal, the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, and both the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and Golden Jubilee Medal. In 2018, he was recognized with the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and in 2019, was awarded an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from Queen’s University for his extraordinary contribution to public service, arts, culture, law, and government. The Empire Club of Canada has recently selected Chief Bellegarde as The Nation Builder of the Year Award 2021.
|9:10 – 9:30am||
ROMA Update and AGM
|9:30 – 9:40am||Jamie McGarvey, AMO President|
|9:40 – 9:50am||The Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario|
|9:50 - 10:00am||The Hon. Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development|
|10:00 – 10:30am||Break and Meet with Exhibitors|
|10:30 - 11:45am||
Concurrent Session A
|11:45 – 12:45pm||Lunch and Zone Networking Sessions|
|12:45 – 2:00pm||Concurrent Session B
|2:00 – 2:30pm||Break and Meet with Exhibitors|
|2:30 – 2:40pm||Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition and NDP|
|2:40 - 2:45pm||A Message from Intact Public Entities|
|2:45 – 3:25pm||Opportunities for Rural Ontario: Post-COVID Recovery
ROMA recommendations and strategies on the recovery and growth plans for Ontario’s rural communities
|3:25 - 3:35 pm||Filling the Housing Information Gap in Rural Communities
Learn about the partnership between The Rural Ontario Institute, Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and IT firm Itergy, that addresses a housing shortfall through the creation of an innovative digital tool.
|3:35 - 3:50pm||The Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing|
|3:50 - 4:35pm||
Ministers’ Forum: Adapting Health and Social Services for Rural Communities in a Post-Pandemic Environment
|Tuesday, January 25|
|8:00 – 8:30am||Meet with Exhibitors|
|8:30 - 8:32am||
The Hon. Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
|8:32 – 9:05am||
The Role of Science in Policy: Dr. Bruce Lourie, Influential Environmental Policy Expert and Bestselling Author
Co-author of international bestseller Slow Death by Rubber Duck, Dr. Bruce Lourie is one of Canada’s most influential leaders and thinkers in the environment sector. He has been instrumental in the creation of more than a dozen organizations that play critical roles in sustainability in Canada and abroad, and initiated the largest climate action in North America — phasing out coal in Ontario. Speaking on topics such as getting to net zero to solve climate change, energy systems transition, the role of ESG and sustainable finance, toxic pollution, non-profit leadership, and more, Lourie brings a unique ability to translate complex issues into timely and actionable information.
As one of the country's foremost experts in integrating climate science and policy, Dr. Lourie will delve into how best to navigate the complexity and cut to the chase on the most recent and relevant ideas for managing climate risk and transitioning to a net-zero economy by exploring the following questions:
|9:05 - 9:15am||Steven Del Duca, Leader, Liberal Party of Ontario|
|9:15 – 10:00am||Michael J. Smither Question Box Panel
Delegates attending the conference can submit questions for the Question Box Panel here.
|10:00 – 10:30am||Break and Networking Events|
|10:30 - 11:45am||
Concurrent Session A
|11:45 – 12:45pm||Lunch and Networking Events|
|12:45 – 2:00pm||
Concurrent Session B
|2:00 – 2:30pm||Meet with Exhibitors|
|2:30 – 2:40pm||Mike Schreiner, Leader, Green Party of Ontario|
|2:40 - 2:45pm||A Message from IESO: The Municipal Role in Meeting Ontario's Energy Needs. Sponsored by IESO.|
|2:45 – 3:15pm||Post-COVID Recovery: Opportunities in Practice for Rural Ontario|
|3:15 - 3:30pm||The Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs|
|3:30 - 3:35pm||A Message from NWMO|
|3:35 - 3:50pm||The Hon. Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure|
|3:50 - 4:35pm||
Ministers’ Forum: Sparking Rural Economic Growth with the Environment, Infrastructure and Resource Development